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Minidsp C-DSP 8x12 V2.0 Review

Rate this DSP DAC/ADC:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 2.5%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 19 16.1%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 71 60.2%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 25 21.2%

  • Total voters
    118

mdsimon2

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pseudoid

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Thank you for the review, @amirm,
I voted to get this Minidsp C-DSP a set of top-shelf golf clubs.;)
Especially since there aren't many competitors with such good measurements, for automotive applications. [afaik]
202305_GoodEnough.jpg

"Good Enough" sounds a bit harsh for its intended vehicular applications: Although, I am thinking it took that hit for THD+N of ~84dB (during Analog In/Out tests).
 

sealman

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Unless it can DSP away vibrating sheet metal, which I doubt, seems like a waste of $700+. It also seems silly to quibble over a few dB SNR in an automotive environment.
There has been a solution for vibrating sheet metal for 30+ years. It is not cheap though and is mostly used by the people involved in car audio competitions. However anyone can benefit on its sound deadening abilities to really lower road noise.
 

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kencreten

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Why is this 760 for some chips in a box? Is there special diamond sauce or something?
 

RF Air

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Why is this 760 for some chips in a box? Is there special diamond sauce or something?
It was $550, Post #14 noted it was misquoted because a UMIK was added to the Invoice.

Diamond Sauce, sounds like a bargain...;)
 

markk

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@kencreten Not sure what cheaper alternative there is if if you want a very flexible multichannel DSP. $550 seems like a good deal. You can use it as a 2 in 3 or 4 out xover with a sinad of 105. Yes, yes, not 123dB... we'll just set aside that...105dB is still very good. If you accept the hit of the ADC you get even more flexibility.

You can do this in software, but then you need a pc controlling everything. You can jury rig some dsp chips and DAC chips together, but you will waste way more than $500 dollars of time and still may not have as well an integrated solution.

I'm not using it for car audio. I'm going to use in an HT application. I think that, with a midrange HT that has preamp out, not sure what other multichannel dsp there is available for ~$500 bucks. Sure, I want the ADC to have 10dB more SINAD headroom, (mainly to stop the forum whining...whoops, did I say that out loud?), but I think I can live with it for the price. Yes, if it was a grand or more I'd expect a bit more. (and, perhaps minidsp will come out with v3 in a couple years that has better analog conversion...)
 

tktran303

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Thanks Mark.

Come on audiowhinersforum. Think of the possibilities, and if all you see is the limitations, think of how you can overcome them or sidestep them (or build something better)

I suspect with the selection of the higher voltage input, the SNR will improve a significant deal and not suffer the 20dB loss. What do you say @amirm - do you have an opportunity to take a look at this?

Thanks to K man-
Can you expand on what you did for the grounding?
 

K man

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Can you expand on what you did for the grounding?
If you don't plan on using the triggers, I guess you're fine with just some good 12V power source.

However, and that's perhaps another disadvantage to be mentioned, the device has a significant "pop" when it's being turned on and, especially, when it's being turned off.

On the other hand, it has a nice feature where you can add a delay on the trigger out - both on and off - so the power amp get turned on after the DSP and turned off before the DSP. It effectively removes the "pop" but means you need to deal with grounding over the trigger connects.

At first I tried to connect the trigger from my Denon receiver to REMOTE IN + and DC IN -. It works, but (for reasons beyond my knowledge) it gave me a very audible background noise in all channels. After a bit of experimentation, I solved it by adding in the relay in between, as mentioned in a previous post.

With that relay in place you're again in a clear position without grounding issues.

The more challenging part for me was the trigger out. As soon as I connected it to my power amp I had a similar leak back into the DSP, generating background noise. Initially I didn't have my power amp properly grounded, and it took me quite a while to figure out that I needed that to reduce the background noise on the DSP. As soon as I grounded the power amp, the background noise went down distinctly. However, it was still there. Turned out it was very sensitive the length and thickness of the trigger cable. (Not the isolation of it though.) I tried a few different cables and connection solutions and then ended up making my own, with as thick copper as I could fit into the contacts on the DSP. Then, finally, the background noise went down to below what I'm able to hear (unless I make the room fully silent and put my ear one inch from the woofer...).

It's working well now, so I can't be bothered to change it, but for someone installing it new, it might be worth adding in a second relay and feed the power amp trigger from a second DC power source instead. Then you should have the DSP fully isolated from those grounding issues I went through.
 
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al2002

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No way. EQ is even more mandatory in a car as the modal region extends way up to hundreds of kilohertz to say nothing about the suboptimal placement of speakers. As to SNR, you sure as heck don't want a tweeter 2 foot away from your ear hissing.
Typo: Hz, not kHz.
 
OP
amirm

amirm

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The unit is shipped back to its owner. It has been here a while and I needed to return. The house is also resembling Amazon warehouse with the number of boxes here needing to be reviewed!
 

Doodski

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Wonderful little box for car or home use. What does the 8x12 designation mean? I'm not up to speed on that. Thanks in advance. :D
 

PeteL

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Wonderful little box for car or home use. What does the 8x12 designation mean? I'm not up to speed on that. Thanks in advance. :D
Looks to me like it’s reffering to the rca IOs. Well, plus two channel digital for ins. My guess, That’s 8 ins and 12 outs.
 

markk

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8 inputs and 12 outputs, mapped very flexibly. The best snr is via 2 channels digital in, then you maps out to 3-6 low level (RCA) channels per side.

If all you want is 2 in and up to 8 out, then the minidsp flex might be better.

But in my use case this doesn't work. I want to start with an LT of my sealed subs on the denon, so need low level RCA input. And then, eq the preout LCR before sending to an outboard amp. So I need at least five low level inputs and outputs.

It's nice to have 12 out, because down the road, for the LCR, I can biamp a woofer unit and a passive MT unit (and having an active component in the chain makes a passive so much easier and technically better. See John Kreskovsy's page, archived now- Hybrid design ), so I'd need 5 low level in to 8 low level out to pull off 2 eq'd subs and biamped active hybrid LCR's. Plus a 6 channel amp. But trying fully active LCR 3 ways would be 9 channels of active amplification for the front three alone! 6 channels of Hypex I can afford. Nine channels, well...

There just aren't that many reasonably priced flexible active units with 6 or more in and 8-12 out...
 
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